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On Are 終わる and 済ませる synonyms?, there were some questions whether 終わる is used as a transitive verb.

Space ALC seems to have a few results for を終わる, but far more for を終わらせる and を終える. Looking at sense 4 of the Daijisen definition, it does seem 終わる can be used as a transitive verb:

しまいにする。終える。「会議を―・ります」

My question: How often is 終わる used as a transitive verb and when is it used in such a way compared to 終わらせる and 終える?

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2 Answers 2

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終わる is used both as a transitive verb and an intransitive verb, whereas 終える is used only as a transitive verb. When 終わる is used as a transitive verb, it is almost synonymous to 終える. The only exception I can think of is that a closing word of a speech or other verbal communication is usually …を終わります instead of …を終えます.

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Looking at this dictionary reference, it seems like the times where 終わる might be used like a transitive verb would be when one is putting an end to something.

For example:

 これで私のスピーチを終わります。

Or another example (according to "bridge road hight"さん in this answer,) :

「授業を終わる」→先生(講師)側
「授業を終える」→生徒(受講者)側

Basically, a teacher might say something like "I finished (teaching) the class." whereas a student would say something like "I finished (taking) the class."

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    Thank you for your answer. If I understand correctly, that link says that を終わります is used by the organizers/hosts to conclude some event etc. That makes a lot of sense to me.
    – cypher
    Mar 20, 2012 at 4:43
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    I think that from students’ viewpoint, it is 授業が終わる, neither 授業を終える nor 授業を終わる. Mar 20, 2012 at 12:45
  • @TsuyoshiIto That does sound more natural, at least.
    – summea
    Mar 20, 2012 at 16:06
  • So... what's the difference between "ending sth" and "putting an end to sth"?
    – jarmanso7
    Jan 4, 2020 at 19:54

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